Apr 17, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Madia Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, and Engineering

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges and Departments


Justin Fair, Interim Chair



Chemistry is a field that has historically enjoyed very strong career possibilities. Many students are employed directly after their undergraduate education by the chemical, pharmaceutical or related industries, in jobs that have excellent career prospects. Graduate school in chemistry or biochemistry usually includes very generous financial support, and can lead to outstanding career paths in industry, government or academic areas. These opportunities are available to students completing any of the concentrations in the Chemistry B.S., and graduates of these programs have gone on to industrial leadership positions, and some of the most prestigious graduate programs in the country.

The Traditional Chemistry concentration is designed for students intending a career in chemistry and is certified by the American Chemical Society. The advanced courses in the Traditional Chemistry concentration reflect trends in the modern field of chemistry, and the requirements are flexible enough to allow students to tailor the degree program to their specific needs and interests. There is also a strong laboratory component in the Traditional Chemistry concentration, which gives the student excellent hands-on preparation for the challenges of employment or graduate school. Internships with local chemical companies are available, and the credits from these internships can be counted to meet some of the program requirements.

The Applied Chemistry concentration is designed not only for students intending a career in chemistry, but also for those students interested in cross-disciplinary fields that involve chemistry. Students intending to follow a dual-degree program should work with their Chemistry adviser, as courses from their other major can count for many of the requirements in the Applied Chemistry concentration.

Pre-medical and Pre-pharmacy concentrations

The Pre-medical and Pre-pharmacy concentrations of the BS degree allow students to take all courses required for entrance into their intended professional health program. Students in these tracks retain the option of: (a) attending medical or pharmacy school; (b) attending graduate school in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, or a variety of medically-related PhD programs; (c) employment in the chemistry or pharmaceutical industry. Additionally, the flexibility of the concentrations in the BS Chemistry degree allows students to change the focus of their degree program during their undergraduate experience.

Chemistry Education concentration

The Chemistry Education concentration is a professional degree that allows students to be certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as high school chemistry teachers. This degree also retains the essential coursework of a chemistry degree, so these graduates will be well-prepared for the demands of teaching or employment as a chemist.


Biochemistry is a dynamic and growing area in the sciences that integrates the understanding of chemical principles in living organisms. IUP’s biochemistry program offers excellent training and coursework that combine the principles of chemistry and biology with the fundamentals of mathematics and physics. An exciting facet of the Biochemistry BS is the undergraduate research component. This aspect allows a student to work with a faculty member on a novel problem in biochemistry. Very often these students give presentations of their results at national and local scientific conferences.

The IUP Biochemistry degree prepares graduates to pursue various careers in medicine, science and technology, or advanced studies in biochemistry, bioengineering, biotechnology and other related fields. Students who pursue the Biochemistry major simultaneously fulfil all of the science coursework required by most medical schools. Additionally, many IUP Biochemistry graduates have continued their education to earn Ph.D. degrees at highly prestigious graduate programs.


The goals of the Physics program include preparing students for productive careers analyzing complex physical systems using mathematics. A physics degree can lead to various careers: business analyst; data analyst; engineer; patent attorney; physicist; physics researcher; physics teacher or professor; or programmer.

Students can pick their specialization.  Coursework that can lead to admission into a graduate program in physics is available. Applied physics is another option, which leads to a career as a technician or researcher in industrial technology. Nanomanufacturing technology is also available. After a small set of required core courses, students will pick from course offerings that will lead them toward a deeper understanding of their field of interest.

Physics Education

The Certificate in Secondary Science Teaching and the BS in Physics prepare students to become certified middle- and high-school teachers in Pennsylvania and other states. Secondary Physics Teachers from the program have a deep understanding of the physics principles and enjoy transmitting that knowledge to their students.

Nanofabrication Cooperative Experience

The IUP physics program participates in a cooperative agreement with Penn State University (PSU) to help address the Pennsylvania industry’s need for skilled nanofabrication workers. Anyone who meets the prerequisite requirements may enroll through IUP in a one-semester experience at the PSU Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization (CNEU). These courses are offered in two modes: (1) as a capstone semester experience at the Penn State CNEU or (2) as a hybrid capstone semester consisting of distance learning followed by a two-week hands-on lab experience CNEU. For more information, contact the CBPE department.

Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineering is a multi-disciplinary program that prepares students to work to minimize the impact of human development and technology on the natural world. The program’s interests include water purification, pollution control, public health, recycling, waste disposal, and sustainable design and manufacturing. Graduates trained in basic sciences and mathematics will use the principles of engineering, geosciences, chemistry, biology, and physics to develop solutions to environmental problems. This degree program combines a solid grounding in college-level basic sciences and mathematics with Environmental Engineering and technical courses.

Graduates of the BS program in Environmental Engineering  will be qualified to enter the workforce immediately or to further their educations in master’s or doctoral programs. The degree program will prepare students to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development, and operational evaluation of systems for controlling contained living environments and for monitoring and controlling factors in the external natural environment, including pollution control, waste and hazardous material disposal, health and safety protection, conservation, life support, and requirements for protection of special materials and related work environments.

Graduates of this program will possess the technical expertise required to maintain a healthy balance between societal welfare, economic growth, and the environment surrounding us, and will be in demand in the Pennsylvania workforce where the need for environmental engineers is projected to grow faster than other occupations.

Physics Pre-engineering concentration

Students can start the first two to three years of their education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and then complete their engineering studies at the University of Pittsburgh.

Engineering translates science into action in many different ways. From biomedical engineers to civil engineers, professionals in this field use scientific principles to address problems. A physics major taking the Pre-Engineering track at IUP will be prepared for a promising scientific career.

In the physics pre-engineering major, students cover concepts in computer science, math, and physics, including Problem Solving and Structured Programming, Differential Equations, and Modern Physics. Further courses will be selected based on interest, including chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, materials science and engineering, or mechanical engineering.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges and Departments